Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Body May Die

A true lost classic, “My Body May Die” points to a tantalizing, fascinating direction the band never fully explored. Jarvis hands the bulk of vocal duties over to long-running chorale group The Swingle Singers – the song is in fact credited to “Pulp vs. The Swingle Singers.” Underneath a bed of eerie harps and synths, the group intones a weave of verses, ruminating on love and loss. Jarvis emerges mid-way to intone “You thought I would leave you/ I could never leave you/ Wherever you go I will be by your side,” over and over. It never sounds like a threat, but it certainly is a most uneasy kind of reassurance. The performance is one of the band’s most powerfully subtle – take note of Nick Banks’ delicate drum work, miles away from the hard, arena-honed rhythms latter-day Pulp specialized in. It’s one of the band’s most challenging works, lyrically mysterious and musically unexpected. One hopes that Jarvis (if not Pulp as a whole) someday decides to pick up where it left off.

The song was written for the 2000 British television series Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) (a remake of the late-‘60s show of the same name). Songs like this indicate how rewarding a Deluxe Edition of We Love Life could be.

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